Putnam's metaphor of a two-level game that state representatives play when they face the dual constraints of international bargaining and domestic pressures has been applied across different political systems. This paper argues that it is important to take into account differences in state structures and political processes in the study of international negotiations. That state structures and processes are important has become a common theme in current research on foreign policy, decision making, and international conflict. Building on this literature, this study involves a meta-analysis of existing case studies of two-level games. The previously completed cases provide evidence of variation in the characteristics of two-level games. Independent measures of the institutional structures of the states involved in the set of case studies are collected from the POLITY III dataset. Hypotheses on how differences in state structures might influence the characteristics of two-level bargaining are then examined. The study finds that differences in state structures do influence the dynamics of two-level games. Some of the results support the conventional wisdom on this relationship, while other results suggest counter-intuitive insights. A framework conceptualizing state characteristics at three levels is proposed for future research.
- domestic political institutions
- international negotiations
- two-level games